(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)
If you’ve got kids in your care, then there’s always a big question come summertime: What the heck will they do all day? For many people, the answer is some type of camp. Camps are a great way to keep the daily schedule in tact while allowing kids to gain new friends and new skills.
In the Portland area there’s a dizzying array of camp choices, and a growing number of them are focused on bicycling. Below are the bike-related summer camps we’ve heard of. If there are others in the Portland region that we’ve left off the list, please let us know and we’ll be happy to add them…
Mountain Biking Adventure Camp – July 21-25th, grades 7-12, $400
This camp is part of the Catlin Gabel school offerings. It filled up its first week so leader and head organizer Spencer White just added another week. White has been leading summer camps for Catlin Gabel for 16 years and he’s cooked up a thorough mountain biking experience for your older kids. This camp will make your aspiring off-roaders much more confident on the trails while introducing them to several of the region’s best riding areas including: Hagg Lake, Sandy Ridge, Hood River, the Lumberyard Indoor Bike Parj and Stubb Stewart State Park.
Not only will there be plenty of riding and instruction, White and his crew will incorporate other activities like meeting local racers and bike builders, swimming in Hagg Lake, and learning basic bike maintenance. Rental bikes are available.
Community Cycling Center Bike Camps – June through August, grades 1-12, $290 per week
CCC summer bike camps are a local institution. They’re so popular among Portlanders that they’re almost compulsory. From 1st all the way to 12th grade, they have opportunities for your kids to get involved and see how bicycles can become a powerful part of everyday life. Highlights of the CCC’s offerings include daily crafts, mechanic training, bilingual and even language immersion options, and group bike rides through the city to teach urban riding skills. Unfortunately many of the sessions are already sold out; but some sessions still have openings.
Summer Shred Academy at The Lumberyard – Ages 6-14, June through August, $350/$190 full/half day (per week)
The Lumberyard is tailor-made for kids. They’ve got over 70,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor riding areas that will keep your little shredder engaged and stoked all summer long. Campers will be corralled by expert staff who will lead them in daily stretches, instructional clinics, goofy — yet productive! — games, and free choice time to explore the park. This camp is tailored for all skill levels. Add $30 to use one of the on-site rental bikes and a daily lunch is also available for an additional $25 per child.
Sprockettes Summer Camp for Girls – June 21-22, ages 5-12 (exceptions made), $40-$100 (sliding scale, no one turned away)
Back for its fourth year, Portland’s original mini-bike dance troupe The Sprockettes want to share their love of bikes, dance, and creative expression with your little ladies. Our kids have done this camp and really enjoyed it. They’ll build confidence on the bike and off by spending time with great women who see bicycling as an empowerment tool and a way to connect with friends, community, and creativity. This camp will focus on bicycle dance techniques, mix in some acro-balancing, a bit of bike repair lessons, and more.
At the end of camp your girls will ride and dance with the Sprockettes at a special performance at the north Portland Sunday Parkways!
Bike First! Bike Week — June 23-27, ages 8 and up, $250 (financial aid avail.)
Bike First! is run by the Northwest Down Syndrome Association. The goal is to teach kids (young and old) with disabilities how to ride a two-wheeled bicycle. They have specially made equipment to aid in the task and the riding takes place in a gymnasium under the helping hands and eyes of volunteers and developmental disability experts. The creator of this program, Ann Donaca-Sullivan, won an Alice Award from the Bicycle Transportation Alliance in 2008.
Youth Mountain Bike Camp — July 15-18, ages 11-15, $223
Sponsored by Portland Design Works, this four-day camp will teach kids a well-rounded set of off-road cycling skills. They’ll visit the Ventura Park Pump Track, Powell Butte, Cascade Locks, and Sandy Ridge to work on skills like cornering, climbing, and even wheelies and jumping. In addition to riding, they’ll also teach your kids about trail etiquette, soil ecology, and do a service project. Groups behind this camp include the NW Trail Alliance, Bicycle Transportation Alliance, the Dirt Dojo, and the Portland Bureau of Transportation.
Did we miss any local bike camps for kids? If so, let us know via email and we’ll add them to the list.
The post From Sprockettes to singletrack: A guide to bikey summer camps for kids appeared first on BikePortland.org.